2008 Year-End OpenRain Reflections

A couple weeks ago OpenRain had a private dinner party for staff and significant others to get to know each other better. Amidst each new wine bottle we talked about friends, family, etc… and discovered that our graphic designer becomes exceedingly funny with each glass of Pino.┬áBeforehand, though, we had an internal meeting to note the goals we achieved/missed for 2008, and our high-level goals for 2009. I won’t go into the details, but the message is clear..

2008 exceeded expectation, and 2009 will be huge.

We’ll be growing.. a lot. Actually, we’ll most likely need to move again before summer. That’ll be an exciting time, but moving is always a massive pain. I do, however, look forward to hosting larger events without needing to borrow space from other suites in the building. Issues with our current lease notwithstanding, there should be plenty of options. We actually already have our eyes on a space, but it’s too early to speculate on.

I’m feeling great about the team and our opportunities in the new year. We *do* have capacity in January we’re needing to fill (December is not a great time to be signing new web development projects), and have a new business development manager (John De Santiago) to own most of the new relationship development process, freeing my time for things which I’m better suited.

With layoffs in Fortune 500 companies continuing to occur on a regular basis, I personally expect education enrollment and new small business start-up numbers to rise. Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) apparently just had it’s best quarter *ever*. American budgets in general, however, are being cut. It’s hard to say what this means for OpenRain’s web development business, but I think we’ll be fine by increasing attention towards marketing and sales activities.

It’s funny to think I felt the same nervous excitement this time last year, but seeing as 2008 went so well, that’s a good sign of things to come.

6 Things I'm Thankful For

Bread BowlAn awesome first business year for OpenRain. The constant stress of context switching between software projects has become more managable, making weekend relaxation slightly more frequent. Marc has been a geeky Asian version of Superman, and our part-time office manager Gracie has been a godsend. Business has been great, and 2008 should be an exciting growth period.

Bread bowls. Especially the kind filled with Cream of Broccoli soup.

Not being poor. It’s easy to forget all the small luxuries afforded by a modest middle-class suburban family. Indoor plumbing, internet access, telephones, health care, shelter, affordable schooling… these aren’t common in many parts of the world.

Loads of opportunities. One of the most motivating and simultaneously scary realities of running your own software company today is knowing you hold all the keys to your own future. There are so few barriers (especially economic) to today’s start-up that there is little excuse for not taking the risks and giving it your all. This year alone I’ve gotten to go to L.A., Washington D.C., England, San Francisco, Mendocino (California), Amsterdam, Austin, Baja and Portland off the top of my head. (Note to self: redeem those frequent flier miles!)

Cheese. I’m a huge sucker for bree and havarti.

The awesome people around me. Support structure is fundamental to success, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have a great one. Y’all know who you are!

It’s been a superb 2007. Cheers to an even better 2008!